The Transformative Power of Network Dynamics: A Research Agenda

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Journal Article
Organization Studies, 2016, 37 (3), pp. 277 - 291
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© The Author(s) 2016. The emergence and proliferation of network forms of organization has sparked interest and debate in organization studies. We have learned much about the effects of networks but our understanding of how they are formed, how they change, and how networks can themselves possess agential properties that make them complex social actants is limited. In selecting papers for this special issue, we were persuaded by arguments that our understanding of networks and their transformative power can benefit from greater attention to culture and discourse, which provide meaning and direction to network participants and are indispensable agentic resources. The special issue contains two sets of papers. The first set debates the articulation between the organized and emergent dynamics of networks and its impact on knowledge exchanges and innovation. The second set seeks to inform our understanding of the manifestations of power in network dynamics. For each section, we provide a tentative research agenda. Our hope is that this special issue will both advance our ability to conceptualize, measure and manage network evolution and enhance our understanding of the transformative impact of network dynamics on organizations and society.
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